Noel Rock gets court fine over ‘keep the recovery going’ posters
Court imposes over €3,000 penalty on Fine Gael TD as placards unlawfully on display
FG TD Noel Rock did not attend the hearing which proceeded in his absence. Photograph: Dave Meehan
The 28-year-old Dublin North West TD and Public Accounts Committee member with an address at Hardiman Road, Drumcondra, Dublin 9, was summonsed to appear in court on nine counts under the 1997 Litter Pollution Act in relation to his posters.
The case was heard at Dublin District Court on Tuesday, however he did not attend the hearing which proceeded in his absence.
The charges were brought by Dublin City Council.
Evidence was given by three litter wardens. And the court was shown photographs of the posters put up around his constituency. They included those with the TD’s picture and a slogan saying, “keep the recovery going” and other information about his availability at his clinic on January 14th last.
The court heard that two posters were unlawfully still on display at Prospect Road on February 3rd last. Litter wardens spotted four more on January 28th at Iona Road, Griffith Avenue and Drumcondra Road. They found another one at Collins Avenue on January 26th last.
The general election was not called until February 3rd. Council litter wardens also found one of his election posters that was left up too long after the February 26th vote.
Judge John O’Neill noted that Mr Rock had no prior convictions and imposed nine fines of €350, totalling €3,150. He also acceded to prosecution counsel Karen Denning’s application to order Mr Rock to pay €221 in costs.
Meanwhile Independent Cllr Cieran Perry pleaded guilty on Tuesday to Litter Pollution Act charges in relation to posters with his picture and which mentioned a water protest in Dublin on January 23rd last.
Litter wardens spotted them on February 3rd and the council argued that they should have been taken down within seven days of the event. He claimed they were exempt as they were part of his general election campaign and he reused posters because he has limited resources.
Judge O’Neill said Cllr Perry, who represents the Cabra Finglas ward in Dublin, was a decent man but the law was against him. But he told him the case would be struck out if he paid €221 in prosecution costs and donated €500 to the St Vincent de Paul before January 17th next.